About seven ago, former Kwara state governor and scion of the Alhaji Abubakar Saraki political dynasty, Bukola Saraki became the President of the Red section of the Nigerian National Assembly. And by that development, he became the chairman of the federal legislature.
But that did not come save by the politician surmounting all real and imaginable odds from his Party men and women as well as other stakeholders in the affairs of the National Assembly. Good enough, inspite of the shaky start that characterised his post inauguration as Senate President including the sudden unearthing of alleged assets declaration issues, Saraki who took it all with equanimity and calmness is speedily becoming the beautiful bride of the current players in the nation’s political arena.
As many have observed too, his archetypical serenade that easily calms frayed nerves within his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC and the presidency as well as the opposition appear to be working for him. And this is not forgetting the fact of his towering stature in his native Kwara state where politics according to the doctrines of Oloye, his late father and patriarch of the Saraki dynasty remains the reference point in grass root mobilisation for the needed positioning. Above all, the Senate president must remain the role model he is to many outside the green and white Assembly of lawmakers at all times.
Obviously, not a few political historians here forget the fact that Saraki’s late father too was a one-time Senate President from 1979 through 1983. Like his father also, he is a medical doctor by training. Besides, he was the first Nigerian governor to be awarded the national honour, a Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON).
Perhaps his strides in office which saw many of his colleague-governors trying to copy his government’s community health insurance scheme, environmental ‘Clean and Green’ scheme and agricultural transformation scheme, which accounted as one of the reasons Kwara under him was seen as a profitable and clean state aided in that regard. And that is not forgetting the fact that before becoming a senator, he was the former chairman of the vibrant and highly influential Nigerian Governor’s Forum.
Thus, for Saraki coming with such a load of A+ credentials to weather the raging political storm to ascend the seat of the Senate presidency alongside the intricate power balance that has Ike Ekwermadu of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP as his deputy stand him out as one politician with uncommon sagacity, courage and deft strategy that looked beyond his Party’s position on the zoning of key offices of the federal legislature to head a team that he believes should be pan-Nigerian in all ways.
Today, the Senate President commands the respect of his colleague-lawmakers; and together they are managing the affairs of that arm of government for the progress and general good of Nigeria. And like observers are quick to note Saraki has struck very strong relationship with his fellow senators so reassuringly that party affiliations no longer matter in the outlook and disposition of the lawmakers. Like him, they now see their assignment in the hallowed chamber of the Senate as call to national duty which behoves on all to rise above partisan interest.
Who knows, Saraki’s Senate may at the end of the day, shock Nigerians as one that would have the most excellent relationship with the Executive branch of government and other stakeholders in the history of the country’s democratic experience. Then, that will be a well-deserved and healthy shock.
Tambuwal’s Talk-and-Do regime
The immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives and current governor of Sokoto state, Aminu Tambuwal in my estimation, must have influenced the way lawmakers of the National Assembly must be seeing their duties out there. The story of his ascension to the headship of the House and all the horse-trading as well as shenanigans that were thrown up from his former political party, PDP through the then presidency to outright mudslinging by his supposed friends are similar to what Saraki passed through, though in the Senate four years after.
But then, Tambuwal arrived the scene, saw the Promised Land and delivered to the best of his ability and patriotic interest of the country. And today as state governor, he is shining like a million stars all over Sokoto indicating that what he was able to achieve as a federal lawmaker would be nothing compared to what his native Sokoto people would experience under his governorship.
Yes, he supported the emergence of current Speaker of the House of Representatives, but it does not remove from the fact that the Sokoto state governor is not only rebuilding the Caliphate state, he is carrying his people along.
Indeed Tambuwal promised that much upon his declaration as governor-elect of his state.
Here him: “Myself and the Deputy Governor-Elect are truly humbled by your sustained show of support, trust and confidence in the face of orchestrated provocations and attempts to subvert the Will of the PEOPLE, we remain grateful for honouring us with your MANDATE.”
He continued: “This is a responsibility that we do not take lightly, and we will endeavour to continue to provide good governance in Sokoto State with utmost transparency and fairness.”
Tambuwal said “We make a solemn pledge to you today that this government shall be fair to one and all, and shall at all times work hard to meet the yearnings of our people for responsive and responsible governance.”
And then, a little spicing: “as the outgoing Speaker of the House of Representatives, I understand the expectations of my immediate Constituency and the wider national political family in my new Public Service engagement.”
Little wonder that, inside Tambuwal’s Sokoto state today, things are looking up. From infrastructural developments through his recent initiatives in the education of the Sokoto child of school-going age, the deft politician, lawyer, administrator and social engineer is living my preferred sobriquet for him: Governor Talk-and-Do.
Thus between Saraki’s serenade and Tambuwal’s talking and doing lie the true qualities of political leadership this country requires as of now; being cool, calm, calculating, collected but yet overly patriotically disposed to all good works that have the potentials of taking Nigeria to the next level. But can they do it alone? Of certainty, they cannot.
The Nigeria of the dream of the Sarakis and Tambuwals of our time must rise and confront the challenges of nationhood peculiar to this clime.